Maxine Graham

Friday, November 3, 2006

Maxine Marie Graham passed away Sept. 29, 2006, at her residence at Sunrise Assisted Living in Hermosa Beach, Calif., at the age of 93.

She was born in Benton, Mo., June 23, 1913. Her parents were George W. Pearman, longtime president of the Bank of Oran, and Goldie Rutledge Pearman.

Predeceasing her were siblings Lindell Pearman, Valma Rickard, Chester Pearman and Evelyn Stapleton, who was a teacher in the Charleston School District many years.

On June 9, 1943, she married Woodrow Graham, who died July 13, 1985.

Surviving are her children, including U.S. Administrative Law Judge Edward Graham and wife Dolores of Redondo Beach, Calif., Kenneth Fant of St. Louis, and Ann Landin and husband Bill of Bradenton, Fla.

Also surviving are grandchildren Shannon and Tiffany Graham of Charleston, currently living in the Los Angeles, Calif., area, David Fant of Detroit, Mich., John Fant of St. Louis, Billy Landin of Colorado Springs, Colo., Teri Martinez of Denver, Colo.; and seven great-grandchildren.

Maxine grew up in Blodgett, Mo., and graduated from Blodgett High School in 1931 along with her future husband, Woodrow Graham, of the same high school class.

She showed an early interest in sports, being a center on the high school girls basketball team. She worked as a bookkeeper for several businesses beginning in the Oran bank for her father, then working for Lair's Furniture Store in Sikeston, Mo., as a civil service employee at McCord Air Base near Tacoma, Wash., during World War II, at SEMO Motors car dealership in Charleston, at First Security State Bank in Charleston, at Coon's Insurance Agency in Charleston and finally for Graham Bros. Fertilizer Co. and farms in Charleston.

Her working years ended for the most part when she discovered bowling in the late 1950s and 1960s. She bowled on many teams and went to many tournaments earning a closet full of trophies. Her bowling career ended when she discovered golf in the late 1960s. She was an avid golfer at the Charleston Country Club, once again winning many trophies. Golf proved to be her passion and she shot a bogey round of golf in Florida at the age of 85.

Maxine was a member of First Baptist Church of Charleston and was a member of Eastern Star. She played piano for the children's Sunday school and sang in the church choir many years.

Maxine lived in Charleston from 1941 to 1995. She then moved to Good Samaritan Retirement Village in Kissimmee, Fla., and in 1999 moved to Blytheville, Ark., where she resided at Westminster Retirement Village and Outlook Pointe Retirement Home until moving in October 2005 to the Sunrise Assisted Living Retirement Home in Hermosa Beach to be near her son, Eddie, and his family. She did return to live in Charleston for 8 months in 2003.

Maxine was fiercely independent and took pride in managing her moves from residence to residence even into her 90s. Over 93 years she had excellent health and a good mind up to her sudden massive stroke, dying instantaneously and unexpectedly.

Her determination to survive and keep up on current affairs, her strong opinions and her wry wit will be missed by friends and family. She was an inspiration to everyone on how to live a long, healthy and independent life.

A memorial service will be held at McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston Sunday at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Gerald Collier of Ironton, Mo., officiating. Interment will follow at IOOF Cemetery in Charleston, under the direction of McMikle Funeral Home.